What is Blind Hiring? (How to Implement it to Avoid EPLI Claims)

blind hiring

EPLI statistics show that discrimination is the most common reason for claims, but the good news is that blind hiring can help reduce discrimination claims. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about blind hiring.

What Are Blind Hiring Practices?

As you can probably guess from the name, blind hiring is meant to make the hiring process a little more anonymous. This is a very interesting business practice that has become more popular recently.

The history of blind hiring

This business technique goes back to the 1970s. Orchestras realized that a person's looks greatly affected their ability to get a job, so they started having musicians audition behind a screen.

This ended up resulting in 45% more women being hired. Over the years, more and more industries started using blind hiring.

Blind hiring in modern times

Blind hiring isn't necessarily about avoiding looking at a person during the interview anymore. Instead, it's more about hiding identifying information when you're browsing applications.

You don't literally put on a blindfold while talking to candidates, but you do try to avoid looking at a candidate's personal information. Here are some of the types of information hidden during the blind hiring process:

  • The person's name
  • The person's age
  • What the person looks like
  • The person's address
  • The school the person went to
  • Any hobbies or personal interests
  • Marital status indicators like "Mrs."

The Benefits of Using Blind Hiring

So, why should you use blind hiring? Its big benefit is that it keeps unconscious biases from getting in the way of hiring the best person for the job. No matter how welcoming and non-discriminating your business is, everyone has biases.

This can lead them to accidentally prefer candidates of a certain race, age, gender, class, or background. Removing bias from your hiring process has all sorts of benefits.

Improve workplace diversity

Blind hiring's main goal is diversity. It gets rid of unconscious biases so you can hire people based on merit instead of factors like their race, gender, or background. Research shows that blind hiring typically ensures more diverse job candidates get through the preliminary screening stages.

Diversity in the workplace is a very desirable goal because it comes with these three benefits:

1. More innovation: A person's background can greatly impact their thoughts, skills, and habits. Creating a more diverse environment creates a diverse approach to problem solving. New thoughts and ideas can help improve innovation.

2. Higher profits: The heightened productivity and innovation that come with diversity have a big impact on your company. Surveys reveal that gender diversity leads to a 21% increase in profits.

3. Better performance: Teams with more diversity tend to have a higher job performance. Culturally diverse workplaces are more likely to meet performance goals and get positive feedback from customers.

Lower your chances of claims on your EPLI policy

Blind hiring can also have a helpful protective effect. In any big workplace, there inevitably comes a time when a job candidate will claim you didn't hire them due to discrimination. If you use blind hiring, you can show how this EPLI claim is impossible.

The right blind hiring process ensures that disgruntled employees or job candidates do not have grounds to sue your company for wrongful termination. In many cases, having blind hiring can prevent claims from happening in the first place. Even if a candidate does still end up feeling discriminated against, you might be able to use blind hiring to disprove their lawsuit.

Of course, a good policy will ensure any EPLI claims do not bankrupt your company, but avoiding suits is still a good idea. It keeps your premiums from going up, and it ensures you do not exceed your EPLI coverage limits. Reducing your risk of lawsuits can also help you avoid a lot of stress and hassle.

Better team morale and cohesion

As discussed, hiring a diverse workforce is a positive thing that leads to more productivity and innovation in most cases. However, there can be some resentment among staff if they feel that certain team members are a "diversity hire." Being up front about your blind hiring process can help smooth out any disagreements. Everyone will know that their team members are there due to merit, so they are more likely to respect and appreciate their colleagues.

How to Implement Blind Hiring in Your Workplace

Now that you know all about the perks of blind hiring, are you ready to give it a shot? Follow these four tips to start using blind hiring in your workplace.

1. Use software to anonymize hiring data

It is possible to have a team member uninvolved in hiring who can anonymize data for you. However, in most modern businesses, blind hiring is not done by hand. Instead, it is done with software. This helps remove the chances of anyone getting influenced by personal data about the candidates. There are all sorts of different software programs to pick from, and most work equally well.

Once you have the software, you can start considering which data you want to anonymize. Names are one of the most common options, since a person's name tells you a lot about their gender and cultural background. Next, you might want to remove addresses, headshots, email addresses, and other obvious information.

Finally, you may consider things like the type of school the applicant went to or other information that might accidentally tell you something about a person's class or wealth.

2. Make sure your job application asks for the right information

So, if you're removing details like schooling, how can you select a good job candidate? Blind hiring is about more than just removing the wrong information. It is also ensuring that you get enough details to learn about a candidate's suitability for the job.

To make up for the lack of information, most companies include more in-depth questionnaires. These assessments can help you find out about things like a person's ability to collaborate, speak honestly with colleagues, or handle customers diplomatically. Depending on your field, you might want to do a quick skills assessment test as well.

3. Consider anonymizing the initial interview

Some places like to take things a step further and have an initial anonymous interview as well. Depending on your company's time and hiring needs, this is not always an option. However, it can be a very powerful way of implementing blind hiring.

Modern technology gives you a lot of options. You can go with a phone call, which helps take away preconceived notions based on a candidate's appearance. Another option is using software to have a Live Chat with the candidate. This lets you communicate with them without being biased by any accents or cultural slang they use.

4. Avoid personal questions in interviews

In any blind hiring process, there will come a point when you have to talk to the person face to face. At this time, it is possible for biases to start creeping in. However, there are still a few things you can do to ensure the hiring process is as neutral as possible:

1. Try to create a standard interviewing process, where each candidate is asked the same questions. This ensures one person isn't given opportunities others are not.

2. Do your best to analyze your questions carefully to ensure they are not asking anything personal or behavioral.

3. Avoid discussing a candidate's age, religion, gender, family life, or health.

For more protection against EPLI claims, take a close look at your insurance. The right coverage can give you peace of mind and reduce your risk of major financial issues. CoverWallet is happy to assist you with your business insurance. We can even help you understand how COVID-19 relates to EPLI. Talk to one of our consultants today to learn more about our offerings.

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